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Old 02-18-2012, 06:00 PM   #1
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Sun dried tomato question

When I buy sun dried tomatoes, they usually dry up really hard and I can't even re-hydrate them to usable. So, I thought I would get some sun dried tomatoes in oil. I looked at the ingredients and yuck: weird chemicals and too much salt.

Any suggestions? I don't use them that often. Should I put them in the freezer? Is it safe to put them in oil? I imagine they would be fine in oil, in the fridge, for a week or so, but would I be risking botulism if I left them longer?

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Old 02-18-2012, 06:04 PM   #2
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I usually use the ones in oil. I give them a good rinse before using them. I Have bought large pails for restaurant use and leave them in oil in the fridge. They have been fine for weeks at a time.
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocklobster View Post
I usually use the ones in oil. I give them a good rinse before using them. I Have bought large pails for restaurant use and leave them in oil in the fridge. They have been fine for weeks at a time.
That's probably because of the sulfites and/or other preservatives. I dislike the taste of sulfites.
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:14 PM   #4
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Have you considered simmering the dried ones in water, with a bit of garlic and herbs, then keeping them in olive oil? The simmering should help rehydrate and soften them up. You can add your own seasonings to the oil also. Just a small batch at a time....?
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:17 PM   #5
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I don't use dried tomatoes often but when I do, I just slice up a couple tomatoes nice and thick, remove the pulp and place them on an oiled pan at 200 degrees until they dry out, usually about 3-4 hours.

Seems to work okay.
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:18 PM   #6
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You can keep SD tomatoes that come packed in oil safely. You CANNOT put dry SD tomatoes in oil and keep them more than 10 days safely.

As rock said, rinse or simmer before use.
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:56 PM   #7
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The ones I bought today are nice and soft and don't need to be re-hydrated to be usable. It's after they have been sitting in my pantry that they become hard. I have tried simmering them, but they didn't get soft. The edges got mushy, but the rest was still hard. I also tried pouring boiling water on them and letting them stand. Same result: mush and hard.
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:10 PM   #8
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I dehydrate my own. They last for a really long time.

Could you make powder out of the really dried tomatoes? Maybe run them through the FP or blender. It wouldn't have the texture, but would still have flavor.
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:21 PM   #9
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I dehydrate my own. They last for a really long time.

Could you make powder out of the really dried tomatoes? Maybe run them through the FP or blender. It wouldn't have the texture, but would still have flavor.
Why not? That's actually a pretty goody idea. I don't think I've ever seen a jar of Dried Tomato Flakes in the cooking section.
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
I dehydrate my own. They last for a really long time.

Could you make powder out of the really dried tomatoes? Maybe run them through the FP or blender. It wouldn't have the texture, but would still have flavor.
I don't think so. They are more hard than dry.

How do you store your dehydrated tomatoes?

On second thought, maybe I could put them through the meat grinder.
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